Burying Western Civilization

“The next war … may well bury Western civilization forever.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn June 8, 1978.

Following his death, Baha Mousa, a twenty-six year old Iraqi hotel receptionist was found to have 93 separate injuries on his body. He and a number of other men were arrested by British soldiers following a raid on a hotel in Basra. They were taken to the Darul Dhyafa military base for interrogation after weapons and “suspected” bomb-making equipment was found at the hotel.

After six months of courts martial hearings, six soldiers were acquitted of all charges. One soldier had already pleaded guilty to inhumanely treating Baha Mousa. No-one was found guilty of Baha Mousa’s death. Yet there was no doubt he died of his injuries in British custody.

According to a BBC report today:

“Col David Black, of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment’s Regimental Council, said that British servicemen needed to operate without being “inhibited by the fear of such actions by over zealous and remote officialdom”.

While it is obvious that the prosecution’s case was ill thought-out; the evidence they presented was weak in the extreme, one salient fact that cannot be overlooked is that a man is dead. He died as a result of ninety-three separate injuries.

This was no quick shot at an escaping prisoner, or the result of a scuffle while being restrained. Ninety-three separate injuries, sufficient to kill a man, take time to inflict.

Other men taken in the raid showed evidence of being beaten, but no-one has been punished for the death of Baha Mousa.

Much has been written, both on this blog and elsewhere, criticizing American forces in Iraq for their often brutal treatment of prisoners. Colonel Black’s remark that his men should be able to operate with impunity, uninhibited by fear of lawful redress whilst interrogating prisoners, is disgraceful and totally outside the legal framework of the Geneva Conventions.

Tony Blair and his British government may not have been so openly and vocally derisory of those Conventions as the present American administration, but this “relaxation” of the British military’s code of ethics when interrogating enemy suspects is surely proof the British government has fallen squarely behind its American counterpart in the de-humanizing of enemy combatants.

There was a time, before the advent of modern weapons of mass destruction, that man took pride in the honor and glory of war. However misplaced such feelings, this Iraq war has finally laid them to rest. There is no honor or glory in the actions of Britain and America in Iraq. Civilizations are dependent on some degree of moral code, and between them George Bush and Tony Blair have sacrificed our morality for their success.

The prophecy of Solzhenitsyn is being realized.

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6 Replies to “Burying Western Civilization”

  1. Wartime necessity or sadistic criminal? Get a uniform and you too can do anything you want to anyone you want to do it to and I mean any uniform, military or police!! OK, maybe not UPS uniform.

  2. There is just no accountability in this matter and not much in anything else. What if we DID storm the castle? What would happen? Some of us would be dead, for sure and the whole of the movement would be branded as outlaws. So the ones demanding accountability and some morality or ethics would be the ones considered outside of the law. That is the part that makes me so totally frustrated and disgusted. Thanks, I feel better having vented a bit.

  3. Did the US dump all inmates of correctional and mental health institutions into the military? Or did the US military make its citizens into insane criminals? Well… if this sort of aggression already exists as ‘recreational’ games in the culture, i guess we have the answer, don’t we?

    Rest well, Brother Moses.
    May your counted wounds smell of musk on the Day of Judgement.

  4. ps. i am surprised that the UK followed the US in this… somehow i always thot they were smarter than all that…

  5. PM – you’ve hit the nail on the head. If Americans (and, indeed, the British in their own country) used similar tactics to those of their governments to end the war and return a degree of sanity to the world, they would be traitors, outlaws, and condemned to long prison terms, at the very least. A classic case of “do as I say, not as I do”. It also clearly reveals the thin line between responsibility and irresponsibility – the latter a factor in the policies of both governments right now.

    Anan – nations that condone violence as a necessary composite of recreation will inevitably transfer that aspect into other areas of daily life, to the extent of using it in preference to other alternatives – in this instance, war rather than diplomacy. The more realistic recreational violence becomes, the more easily it superimposes itself into real life. The British were over 80% against supporting the US in the Iraq war back in 2003. Again, a government – or, at least, a prime minister with cronies – that has no interest in the views of its citizens.

    Incidentally, Anan, I hope the Day of Judgment finds me without wounds of any sort, but the musk will still be very welcome!

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